English Girls’ Championship – Day One: Williams and Crawford share top billing

Olivia Williams and Grace Crawford are locked together at the top of the leaderboard after day one of the English Girls’ Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

Williams showed real character to bounce back from an opening bogey to rhyme off three birdies in her round to post a two under par score of 70

The golfer from Churchill and Blakedown was joined on top of the pile by Scotland’s Grace Crawford.

In contrast to her rival, the North Berwick teenager started with a birdie and managed another three in her round which was blotted by just two dropped shots on her 11th and 14th holes.

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Speaking after the round, Crawford (main image) said: “I’m really pleased to open up with a good score and get one under the belt and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.

“I think I missed one fairway and that definitely helps by putting you in position for the second shots.

“I’ll just take it day-by-day and shot-by-shot. This is a nice confidence boost and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

On a day when the warm sunshine tempted many of the girls to use umbrellas as parasols and find an imaginative way to make good use of the Harrogate Water supplied to every competitor, the heat did not prevent four players from going under par.

As well as the top two, England girls’ squad player Maggie Whitehead continued her good run of form with a one under par round 71.

Whitehead, from Close House, was joined on that total by Woodhall Spa’s Tilly Garfoot.

Defending champion Davina Xanh has some work to do after an opening round of 78 for a six over par total, but there’s still time for her and others including fellow England players Lottie Woad (+3) and Rachel Gourley (+4) to make up ground.

Patience Rhodes is better placed than her England colleagues after an opening round of +1.

After Wednesday’s second round the top 40 players and ties will progress to the final day’s play and a further 36 holes to decide the champion.


Photography: Leaderboard